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 Felice Romani

Felice Romani

Birth
Genoa, Città Metropolitana di Genova, Liguria, Italy
Death 28 Jan 1865 (aged 76)
Moneglia, Città Metropolitana di Genova, Liguria, Italy
Burial Genoa, Città Metropolitana di Genova, Liguria, Italy
Memorial ID 11187642 · View Source
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Opera Librettist. The finest Italian theatre poet of his era, he is probably best remembered for his fruitful association with composer Vincenzo Bellini. They wrote six operas together: "Il pirata" (1827), "La Straniera" (1829), "Zaira" (1829), "I Capuleti e i Montecchi"(1830), "La Sonnambula" (1831), "Norma" (1831), and "Beatrice di Tenda" (1834). He also provided the texts for Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" (1830) and "L'elisir d'amore" (1831), and operas by Rossini, Meyerbeer, Mercadante, and Nicolai. Romani was born in Genoa, Italy. His family sent him to Pisa to become a lawyer, but a scholarly bent led him to pursue studies of antiquities, mythology, and French language and literature. In 1814 he settled in Milan as house poet for the La Scala opera, turning out over 100 librettos. Rossini's "Il turco in Italia" (1814) is the earliest opera to a Romani book that is still performed today. The author rarely worked from original material, preferring instead to adapt French stage plays that had been successful in Paris; nevertheless he believed that in opera the words were as important as the music and his style is marked by graceful craftsmanship. Romani's libretti were so prized that many of them were recycled by multiple composers. His 1823 script for "Francesca da Rimini", for example, was fashioned into no less than 11 operas. The results weren't always fortunate: Verdi's early comedy "Un giorno di regno" (1840), a resetting of Romani's 1818 "Il finto Stanislao", was a fiasco that nearly put Verdi off from comic opera for good. Romani's challenging collaboration with the headstrong Bellini, who demanded "Give me good verses and I will give you good music", spurred him to the peak of his achievement. They had a falling out over "Beatrice di Tenda", though after employing another librettist for "I Puritani" (1835) Bellini swore he would never write an Italian opera with anyone but Romani again. Tragically, the composer died soon afterwards and Romani published an obituary expressing deep regret over their estrangement. By then he had become editor and literary critic for the magazine "Gazzetta Ufficiale Piemontese", positions he would retain until his death, and with Bellini gone he gradually withdrew from the theatre scene. New operas were still being set to old Romani texts in the mid-1850s.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bunny Boiler
  • Added: 17 Jun 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11187642
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Felice Romani (31 Jan 1788–28 Jan 1865), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11187642, citing Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno, Genoa, Città Metropolitana di Genova, Liguria, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .